Thursday, February 28, 2013

There is fresh snow on the lawn outside, not enough to break out the shovels. I am certainly thankful for that.
It's hard to get free from old habits. (Just ask any old order nun. I know poor joke.) I find it harder to write free style than when I counted and rhymed. I find myself going back and reworking my writing. The following I tried to write free style. When I was finished, I noticed most of the lines were ten to twelve syllables and several rhymed, so I was lured back in to get them all to twelve syllables and to rhyme. (I've found it is easier to expand a verse than to compress it, so that is why all are twelve syllables.)

Yesterday the wind was a wild beast of a thing
Clawing at the doors and at the windows whining.
Talons bared, it tossed things on the front porch aside.
It scattered table and chairs. I heard them collide
No ice, no snow, just the wind blowing and growling
It marched all around my house swirling and prowling.
Its claws tore the tarps covering my stacks of wood.
In fury it shredded them, ripping what it could.
Wickedly, it flapped the corners like wagging tails.
Lifting, shaking, and worrying the tarps like sails.
The garage door rattled as the wind tried to break in.
Cold fingers probing and seeking the warmth within.
Prying at the door's sides and whining at the cracks
Pushing, ever pushing, to shove it off its tracks.
The wind cried in the chimney,rattled the down spout
Like a caged animal, it shrieked and raged without.
It made house walls quiver in its terrible rage.
Battering everything, seeking to engage.
In frustration, it would finally slip around
Upset it would make a horrible shrieking sound,
Tearing at the electrical wires and tree limb
The power would flicker off and the lights would dim.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The winds have stopped. It is so quiet here in the house. Only the noise of an occasional car driving by on the road.
I hope to visit my dad today and take the last piece of banana cream pie to him. (If my daughter hasn't eaten it.) I'll need to visit the bank sometime today.
No shoveling of snow, but I do need to haul in some wood. I will  need to rearrange the front porch furniture form the pile that the wind made yesterday.
I think I slid back into my syllable counting and rhyming ways for the following. I am not sure how well I have written today.

Writing rightly, I do it nightly.
Writing wrongly, not so strongly.
Wrongly writing can be fright'ning.
Rightly writing can be delighting.
Writing rightly might also include
The gentle description of a nude.
Expressing things in a proper way
Carefully editing what I say.
Whiting wrongly might likewise include
Expressions solicitous and crude.
Sharing those things that are not polite,
Racy pornographic, becomes blight.
Wrongly writing might truly include
Improper grammar, thoughts come unglued.
Misspellings, punctuation, and such
About the writer's talent, it tells much.
Rightly writing is the only way
For good writers to express and say,
You need to explain ideas well,
And believe what you're trying to sell.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I am later posting today than normal. I had and early morning appointment and didn't sleep well. I was awake and up about five or six times during the night. I am drowsy even now.
It's very windy here with some sprinkles of rain thrown in just to give a bit of excitement. My son and his family are in Amarillo, Texas and have been hit with the blizzard conditions. They were doing well yesterday, but I haven't heard from them today yet. I guess I am a worrier at times, but all parents are to a certain extent.
I just went outside to get the mail. I need to correct my first impression. It isn't sprinkling, it if frizzling. (A combination of rain and freezing rain.)
Let me throw some more of my writing at you all.

It's hard for a bird to fly with a crippled wing.
It's hard for a horse to run with a broken hock.
It's hard for a bell with a crack to ring.
It's hard for a leaky boat to sail from the dock.
It's hard for a soul to sing with a broken heart.
It's hard for feet to dance when happiness has flown.
It's hard for a man to love when he'll not do his part.
It's hard for folk to proceed when the way's unknown.
It's hard for writers to express all of their thoughts.
I's hard to write when ideas will not flow.
It's hard to think when the world around you rots.
It's hard for readers to learn all the writers know.
It's not hard to share what you think and what you feel.
It's not difficult to put thoughts down on paper.
It's not hard if you attack each project with zeal.
It's not hard, thoughts not written vanish like vapor.

Monday, February 25, 2013

I went to church yesterday. It looked so bright and colorful. Both sides of the church sanctuary, as well as the vestibule, had the flags from foreign countries on display. Next week is our missionary conference week.
We have missionaries to come in and share their work with us. Some are missionaries that we already support. They come to share their ministry with us and let the congregation know what is happening with the support monies that are being sent. Other missionaries visit who are looking for support. They are on deputation and seeking churches that will pledge monies to support them in whichever countries they are directed to serve.
As I looked around the church and saw all of the flags, I thought "How wonderful that the United States can still worship as we like and send people to spread the Gospel."

At our church, it is missionary week.
Colorful flags of other countries line the walls,
Honoring those who go to foreign lands to seek
the various places where their heart and God calls.
They go to spread the Gospel message far and wide
Presenting it to each woman, child and man,
Giving a chance for those who hear, to decide.
They make available God's salvation plan.
Missionaries are on all five continents.
Sharing God's words of love, hope, mercy, and grace
Whether the unsaved live in houses, hovels, or tents,
No matter the colors of each listening face.
Missionaries hear, answer, and follow God's will
Going into far-off lands, directed by God's lead.
They give up comfort, homes, and family to fulfill
The spreading of the precious Gospel seed.
Praise God for these people who are willing to go
Telling of Christ's suffering and His death.
They share the beginning of this sin-cleansing flow
Offering all a life in Heaven at their last breath.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I am still spending time in the basement. I got rid of about eight or nine Walmart bags of newspapers I have a lot of sorting yet to do. Tupperware, does anyone want any? I do have some larger things that need moved, but... well, those will have to wait.
I am trying to be a little more free as I write. I am not sure that I like it, but I will see. I can remember that I didn't like the taste of olives when I first ate the,. but do now. (I like the green and my daughter likes the black.)
I put more tallow/ suet out for the birds two days ago. It was a large lump and even the crows haven't carried it off. I put the rib cage of a doe that I got in a tree for the birds to scavenge and have been placing the suet inside as well. Those bones have been picked fairly clean and have kept many birds from starving this winter.
Let's give the free flow writing another shot.

I can write. I can write,
Whether about an elephant or a mite.
It is my delight to write
Sharing what I think tonight.
I can write, I can share
About an ant or grizzly bear.
Sometimes I dare to compare
Writing whatever I dare.
I can write whether you read it or not
About a human or a robot.
I will give you what I got
Or at least give it a shot.
I can write if you can stand it
Whether about a cop or a bandit.
You would think that I planned it.
It's my writing and I'll brand it.
I can write, don't you know
Whether about a canary or a crow.
Their story of happiness or woe,
I can write in sunshine or woe.
I can write. What can I say
Whether for free or for pay?
People or animals I will portray.
I like to write. I do it each day.
I can write and share my delight
Over a princess or royal knight.
Whether in love or in a fight,
I can write, I can write.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I enjoyed the meeting yesterday for the Beanery Writer's group. It is a time to share what I've written and to be critiqued by other writers. It is interesting hearing what other people think, whether I am expressing myself fully, and to be given direction and guidance by others with more experience.
I almost didn't go to the meeting. The road from my house to route 31 was covered in a layer of ice and in some areas it had layers of slushy ice, It was like tap dancing on glass, but once I reached rt. 31 I had no problems even on Rt. 982.
Some of my poetry was too stiff, wordy, and structured. It was suggested that I try to be more free flowing, not so structured, and less confined. I am thinking that is what I do in my blog here, but I will try to loosen up, be less obsessive as I write.
I think it will be hard. I have written for over 55 years with rhyme and that is why I started to write the poetry called Haiku. Haiku is concise and yet still has structure.

Accomplishment and goals
Very much a part of men's souls
I will try to write as much as I can
A bit more loose than when I began.
I want to still rhyme as I write.
But not stress with syllables quite.
Children need structured guideline
To learn, know, and determine
The rules of the home and society
To follow the norm and yet have liberty
Inside of those boundaries.
Not to take others freedoms nor seize.
I'm not counting syllables today,
I'm letting go in that way.
The next thing that I let go,
Maybe the rhyme, I don't know.

I don't know how less structured I am, but it is less stressful writing when I am not counting syllables  Working hard to have it fit was what I was taught as poetry. I was taught that writing poetry was work and if it didn't rhyme and have the same counts it wasn't poetry, it was prose. Oh well, I suppose.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Well, despite my attempts to be correct, I see on my last post that I "ate" the cold winter weather instead of Hate, please excuse my blinder.
I hear the wind whistling outside. There is no snow or rain or ice, yet. I hope it stays dry or that it is rain. I don't want the other two. I am tired of those. Unless you are into the winter sports, you probably ate as well.
In the winter. I try my hardest to become a couch potato. That was when I was working and could work off some calories when I walked at work. (I am wondering who the nurses are calling to help them lift the heavier patients back to bed?)
There are too many injuries from the ice and snow. I was one a few weeks ago (see my other blog dates) and my niece fell yesterday in an icy parking lot. (She almost had venison steaks on her radiator on the way to work.)
The Indian Head bank was robbed yesterday. My sister lives across from the bank and said the place was crawling with the police and F.B.I. agents. Bank robbery is a federal offense (and so is Obama). I hope the man thought that out before he decided to steal from a bank.
But back to the couch potato thing. I decided that since I've not been working to shed the calories, I would use the "glider" my daughter has. Even with the T. V. in front of me, that becomes boring. I was thinking of hanging a nice steak in front of me, but decided to clean the basement instead; really clean the basement and that helped me write the following.

It's apparent that I haven't cleaned the basement in quite some time.
Dust, dirt, and things gathered over the years with the trash and grime.
Do I want to keep it or ever use it? Will I need it?
One shoe string, if I throw it I'll need it for a bundle tie.
Bent nails and rusted, I've kept more than an abundant supply.
Hoses with leaks, connectors broken and tarps that are in shreds,
Worn gloves with holes in their fingers and old wooden slats from beds
Newspapers piled high in boxes and dusty old charcoal grill.
Dried leather boots, fishing equipment, rods, reels, lures and a creel;
Christmas lights, bows, trim; plastic bags needing returned to the store;
Cobwebs hanging from the rafters and lawn mowers on the floor.
There are shelves of craft paints, paint cans, and spray paint of every hue.
Gas cans, oil cans, canned food stuff, refrigerator, and freezers two.
Wheelbarrows, rototillers, spades, hoes, long-handles scythes and rakes;
Tupperware, lids without lids, pots without lids, covers for cakes.
I am sorting, tossing, burning. deciding which I'm keeping.
Dusting, washing, scraping, cleaning, rearranging, and sweeping.
Slowly. Yes, ever so slowly, the basement is taking shape.
Spring cleaning is next. Keep no prisoners. Let nothing escape.;

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's cold, so very cold. I've been told that the roads are not in good shape. It makes me glad I don't have to travel them unless I choose to do so. The wind and cold and I like it less and less as the years have passed. In a way, I'd like to move, but like any old tree that has set down roots, it's hard pulling them out of the ground.
I think in the Spring, when I don't have to worry about the fire and Anna, I want to make a few short visits before I need to get the garden ready for planting. I think making the garden is why I like the Spring. (And the cold is gone.) It's a time for renewal. A time to get ready for a rebirth.
There is  a saying, "As the daylight grows longer, the cold grows stronger.." It certainly seems that way, but February is almost over then comes my birthday month.
This ditty I wrote yesterday when that wind almost took the breath away.

What a lazy wind today, blowing cold and strong.
It went through me, not around, the way that was long.
The wind biting and chewing went straight for the bone.
The snow was flying. White-outs made me seem alone.
Short bursts of snow and snow bands filled with energy.
Thick clouds and bright sunlight, todays reality.
Phil snug and warm in his den doesn't really care
About how strong the wind or how chill is the air.

Short and well... not so sweet today.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Each time I go to the writer's meeting I learn more about the way I should be writing. I Hope that someday to have something that I write published. I don't want to nor do I want to be famous, I'll let that to those who seek fame. I want too put down in words things for my family when I pass on. I can remember some of the things that my mom and dad have told me and that may be my next project, to write down as many and as much of the stories as I can remember before they are lost. The good, the bad, and the funny things that shaped their lives.
I started to clean the basement yesterday. Winter's dirt and clutter needs removed. I am getting more lazy than usual and needed to get my blood circulating. In the winter, I really turn into a couch potato. (Move over Mr. Potato Head, Tater Tom is here.)
I am not much for the cold, blustery days of winter or the hot humid days of summer. I do like the spring and the fall.
I have been trying to polish my skills with Haiku poetry. The lines do not rhyme, but I like to keep things more concise. I try to compact my writings into as small of a package as possible and still try to express a picture of what I want to say. That is what Haiku is.

The darkness becomes
swooping hawk across the plain
with outstretched wings.

White birch spreads her limbs
bared to the moonlight's soft touch
and tender caress.

Nose tastes campfire's smoke
eyes drink stars ears chew silence
and skin savors breeze.

Mountain minarets
dominate the distant sky
a wolf mullah calls.

Feathered cock pheasant
dressed in luminescent frock
and white priest's collar.

Thundering feathers
explode from its hidden nest
a ruffed grouse takes wing.

Shaggy haired mustang
shakes snow from its winter coat
with white explosion.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Not a lot happening today. It just sounded like sleet tapping on my windows and I am too lazy to get up to look. Actually I want to go back to bed and will after I am done with my post.
I just got an e-mail reminding me of the next writers' group meeting for Friday. It is the one bright spot this winter. (Other than my family and grandchildren.)
Grandchildren are such a blessing, even when some are in Texas. I do miss them a lot.
This past summer, my son, his wife, and MY two granddaughters came here to visit. One on the places that I took them was to Idlewild Park. MY dad and mom took me and my siblings there when we were kids, I took my kids, and now I get to share the park with my granddaughters. I loved it.
I am worried though. The new owners seem not to be as good at keeping the rides up to date. Some are not running at all.
Storybook Forest is smelling musty and general upkeep could be better. Will it be there for the great grandkids? I don't know, but the new owners needs to look more closely at the gem that they have.
I haven't written any new poetry to share and don't feel like rooting around in my old stuff.
I think I will curl up back in my bed for forty or so more winks.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Twice I cleaned out my drive yesterday. I have made my shoulder sore. It was the shoulder that I jammed when I fell saving my daughter's cake. The only good thing about it was the snow was light and fluffy.
My niece posted she ad twelve inches of snow before four o'clock P. M. yesterday. I think we only had eight, but it was hard to tell with the drifting and blowing.
Friday is my next writer's group meeting. I am still enjoying it immensely and that is why I started my blog in the first place.
I used to say, "The only difference between an ordinary man and a great man, was his willingness to write his thoughts for others to judge." So I try to write.

It is hard for a bird to fly with a crippled wing.
It is hard for a horse to run with a broken hock.
It is hard for a bell with a crack in it to ring.
It is hard for a leaky boat to sail from the dock.
It is hard for a soul to sing with a broken heart.
It is hard for feet to dance when happiness has flown.
It is hard for a man to love when he will not start.
It is hard for folks to proceed when the way's unknown.
It's hard for folk to write when ideas will not flow.
It is hard for writers to express all of their thoughts.
It is hard for readers to learn all the writers know.
It is hard to keep thoughts straight when all is tied in knots.
It is not hard to share what you think and what you feel.
It is not difficult to put thoughts down on paper.
It's not hard if you attack it with passion and zeal.
It is not hard, thoughts not written vanish like vapor.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Snow again. I think I want to have groundhog for lunch. "Come here, Phil."
I can be thankful my dad was well enough to get out of the hospital yesterday. Earlier in the week, he was curled into a ball and I thought he had given up. He is eighty-nine now.
I think I will share something that I wrote about the time I was in college and had one of our massive snow storms.

It was a huge snow, with the wet heavy snow that breaks trees, damages roofs, and pulls down electrical lines. It closed all of the roads, drifts piling high because the snow plows couldn't keep up. It was the kind of snow that causes heart attacks if you weren't careful shoveling. The storm had shut down most of the eastern seaboard.
In western Pennsylvania, the power was out. People huddled beneath blankets around wood burners, over kerosene heaters, by gas stoves, or near fireplaces to keep warm. Water taps had to be allowed to trickle to prevent the pipes from freezing.
Candles were dug out of drawers. Kerosene lanterns were pulled from the attics and basements. Not having electricity meant that folks had to rely on the ingenuity of  their ancestors.
Road workers worked around the clock in a gigantic struggle to open roads for emergency vehicles and for electrical companies the make the much needed repairs. The road crews used snow plows, road graders, huge snow blowers, and powerful high lifts with huge scoop buckets on the front of their machines. The state of Pennsylvania even pressed private contractors to help open the roads.
The power companies brought in extra manpower from other states. The damage was widespread. Often there would be multiple breaks along a mile stretch of the lines.
Opening the roads and restoring the power was a cold, grueling, and time consuming job, but lives were depending on them. Thank you linesmen and road workers. Although I complain about the cost of electric and having my drive plowed shut, thank you.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

I've been writing some heavier thoughts and will try to lighten things up.
I drove to the Westmoreland Historical society yesterday. It looks like a very interesting place. I spoke with a very lovely woman who was the receptionist/ caretaker. I wanted to share a poem that I had written about places and events of western Pennsylvania. She gave me some very good direction.
My dad is still in the hospital and having up and down days.
It snowed and you know how much I love that. I need to clear the driveway as soon as I am finished sharing with you.
The following is a little ditty that I wrote as just a frivolous tease.

Pickled peppers, some like them hot. Some like them mild, some like them not.
Pickled peppers, oh what a taste, some so hot you think you've been maced.
Pickled peppers, flavored with spice, some repel and some entice.
Peppers pickled, natural zest, some eat them and others detest.
Peppers in jars canned and pickled, some tongues numbed, others tickled.
Pickled peppers, bite after bite; some howl with pain, others in delight.
Pickled peppers, some folk yearn. Each luscious bite making lips burn.
Pickled peppers, some folk savor their wonderful biting flavor.
Pickled peppers linger for days, being felt in multiple ways.
Some have heartburn, some filled with gas, but all are thankful once they pass.

Friday, February 15, 2013

With Valentine's Day so close and the tenth anniversary of my wife's death growing closer, I was reviewing some things that I had written after her passing and found this. I did refresh it a bit.

I woke and saw your head's imprint on the pillow
And a faint scent of you lingers in our bed.
The realization that you're gone has been slow.
My empty arms are filled with emptiness still.
My longing for you almost exceeds my yearning.
Your soft touch is the memory that lingers still.
My mortal eyes strain to see you, never learning
You're gone and memories my arms will never fill.
Tonight I clutch the cold pillow that once held you.
You come in spectral shoes to wander through my mind.
I waken, not knowing what it is I should do.
Awake, asleep, not knowing which I should leave behind.
Memories of your love nearly smothers my heart.
Each dream that ends, I don't know if you'll return.
Each second seems eternity when you depart.
My heart is filled with doubt and my face with concern.
I am emptied. I hear the echo of your voice.
My heart still play those memories that I liked most.
It still replays those melodies, but without the joys.
Dreams of you seem to be anchored to my bedpost.

Please remember my dad in prayer. He's in the hospital and seems to have given up the will to live. I pray the he gets well. I have lost too many loved ones at this time of year.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

In the 1970, during the Vietnam War, there was a saying often repeated by the hippie types. It is "Fighting for peace is like copulating for chastity." I imagine it made the author quite proud, but being strong and fighting when necessary DOES create peace. The adversary gets his butt handed to him on a silver platter and sues for peace.
Fighting fails to bring peace when "do gooders" do not allow a true end to be reached and force a truce where neither party is a winner or a loser. Korea is still divided today. Thank you NATO.
Today's tax and spend policy more closely parallels the intent of that saying. That "The copulating for chastity" and the "Government pending causes prosperity" are similar.
The only ones who prosper are those on the government dole and those who are doling out the "hard earned monies" of the American taxpayers.
Pass a balanced spending budget that includes spending cuts and get out of our lives. Keep your hands off our money, our guns, and our Bibles.
If you don't want Bibles, the ten commandments, and prayers in our schools, Give us vouchers so we can educate our children in schools of out choice. (The public school system has become a monopoly.) This is the pro-choice that Americans want.
We want to spend and direct our tax dollars, not you. We don't want to pay for abortions, contraceptives, or sex education. We don't want to bail out unions of big companies (Hi G. M.) We don't want to send you on repeated luxurious vacations when we can't afford them for ourselves.
Our postal rates are rising. Why should we pay and you have free postage? Why should you get free meals? Why should you have free transportation? You keep raising the tax on fuels and don't have to pay for it yourselves. Thank you Governor Corbett.) If you need money, open up state and federal held lands for natural gas and oil exploration. Get revenues from the royalties from resources that they find. It would lower the cost of fuel and the gasoline tax would not seem as offensive.

Tax and spend. Tax and spend
When will this folly end?
The government grows strong.
Stealing from people's wrong,
Spending money not theirs.
They rob us and our heirs;\.
Like a great locust cloud
The devour the crowd.
They sit on their asses
And steal from the masses.
They say it is to share,
Act like they really care,
And line their own pockets
As bills make the dockets.
They and all their cronies
Get rich from our monies.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day It is a day set aside to show the importance of love. It is  a time to show someone else that you love them. But the real love shown was on Good Friday when one person became the sacrifice far all mankind and took the punishment for all of our sins and transgressions.
Just saying "I love you." isn't enough. It takes actions.

Old lace unravels. Flowers fade.
Forgotten Valentines, handmade.
Empty candy boxes tossed out.
Fancy meals forgotten about.
Sweet nothings wither in the ear.
The taste of kisses disappear.
Is this love and what it's about?
Love leaves no room for any doubt.

Tender touch no longer lingers.
Years fade the caress of fingers.
Memories weaken of love past.
Even photographs will not last.
Candles burn down to little nubs,
Small flowers now grown, turn to shrubs.
Is this love? Can I ever tell?
You can know love. Your heart will tell.

 Good relationships can grow stale.
Sometimes even marriages will fail.
Wedding vows remembered no more.
Rings lay untouched in dusty drawer.
The bride's bouquet's withered and dried
Separating the groom and bride.
Is this love? Love's solid and sure.
Love is meant to long endure.

It's hard work to stay together,
Bound with a deep loving tether.
Hold tight to the love that has grown
Where love's given and love is shown.
Keep love alive in things that you do
Each day your commitment renew.
Is that love? Only you can know.
Nurture it and help it grow.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I am very concerned with the direction that our country is going.  Nancy Pelosi says the government doesn't have a spending problem it's just a revenue problem which means more taxes. Her logic is so convoluted I don't think she knows what she is saying.
In your house and mine, you only have so much money and have to shift priorities to cover our expenses. You can't tell your boss he HAS to pay you more because you want a vacation in Hawaii or a new car, but our officials think it is perfectly all right to keep increasing taxes.
They keep giving more and more away; free cell phones, extended unemployment benefits, "free" health care (That is just a way to tax us more. Health costs have already started to rise. Seniors, you will have to buy supplemental insurance to be able to pay for Quality" health care.), and don't forget free condoms, needles, and contraceptives.
Something a friend wrote about something derogatory I said about the President got me to thinking along this line. I wrote the following this morning. The writing may be a bit rough.

If people do not, they shouldn't eat,
Yet day after day, they suck at the teat
    Of a government's misguided program.
If it keeps offering things that are free
There are those who will accept willingly.
    There's no need to work and no need to scam
There's always room at the "government's trough.
"Vote for the one with the biggest payoff.
    They want and ask for more from Uncle Sam.
    Choosing "No work", no pay , no vote I say.
Less taxes, less spending, less government
Less money to unfriendly countries spent.
    No money for "art" of the N. E. A.
N. A. T. O. gets less 'til they take stands for peace.
Our support of dictators needs to cease.
    I. R. S. be gone, for a flat tax pay
No balanced budgets without spending cuts.
Constantly raising taxes is just nuts.

Sorry about the soapbox, but our President, Senators, and House Members aren't listening to the working men and women of the country.

Monday, February 11, 2013

My thoughts have been into the Valentine's day holiday and yet those thoughts have not been drawn to it in the usual way. Cards, flowers, and candy are just passing fancies.
They are tokens of sweetness and love, but not the true meaning of love and do not always share what the full depth of sweetness.

Sweetness isn't always found in candy
Sometimes it is found in friendly faces
Sometimes it's in hearts of kin that's handy
It's even found in different places.
In lion's carcass, sweetness, Samson found
Sweetness can be found in a night of sleep.
Rain can be sweet when dried, brown lands surround.
There' is sweetness in our tears when we weep.
Sometimes it can be found in a hug or kiss.
It can be found in the smell of a rose.
There's sweetness to be found in wedded bliss,
Or in the pinkness of a baby's toes.
It can be found in the sap of a tree.
Melodies can be sweet and lift the soul.
Bondage isn't, but it is when set free.
Accomplishment's sweet when we reach the goal.
Sweetness can be found at morning's first light
When fear has tormented the whole night through.
It can be sweet as twilight turns to night
When the day's been filled with so much to do.
Sweetness may be an opened Valentine card.
It touches the heart when reading each line
Handwritten or the words of a bard.
It's sweet when your thoughts, card, and words combine.
Sweetness can be a father's correction
Or cookies made by a grandmother's hand.
It might be in a mother's affection.
It depends what you see and where you stand.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My right upper arm and shoulder have been extremely painful. I am afraid my fall has aggravated an old injury. What is it about a fall that takes its toll on that shoulder? I don't think my writing is allowing it relax and to improve.
My dad seems to be stable as they try to clear up another bout of pneumonia although he has some anemia as well. He had a fever when he was first admitted, but has lessened.

What happens when a poet's words do not rhyme?
Is it like the word orange, it has no mate,
Or because the syllables were out of time,
Or the depth of the thought, words can't plumb or sate?
What happens when I try to write words in verse,
The thought is there, but I cannot fully express?
What I feel when things I share seem to grow worse?
How do I describe to you a caress?
Words plow the fields of your mind for me to plant
Seeds that will sprout, grow, intertwine and combine.
When your imagination blossoms, it can't
Fully match what has flowered in mine.
I only give glimpses into my mind's eye
I can never fully share what my mind sees
No matter how much I write or how I try.
My writings express myself and not to please.
You may uncover more than I meant to share
When your mem'ries and mine follow the same trail.
The feelings of my soul, to you are laid bare
When insight pulls aside my fragile veil.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I met someone yesterday who actually said that she reads my blogs. Thank you and to the others that take the time to read my ramblings.
I went to my writers' group meeting yesterday. I like the group for the comradeship as well as the critiques of my writing. It is good to hear others tell you what needs to change to improve your skills and what they liked. It makes me more focused as I write. It won't change my style.
The last meeting was cancelled due to inclement weather and I was needing this fix very badly. I had only been to one meeting of the group and I was hooked. There are people from various backgrounds, only together by their desire to write.
So I will continue to write and I hope you will continue to read. Please share my blog's writing with others that might enjoy reading my thoughts.  Thanks again to my readers.

Sometimes my writings start unassuming,
Growing to be something large and looming.
Sometimes my words seem right and sometimes wrong
Sometimes it seems  to be tedious and long.
Yet words don't reach depths to express a thought
And convey what is happening to me
Or share a feeling or describe a spot.
I fret over words until I decide
Which word to use; which word will rightly fit
On written pages where my words reside.
Yet I share them willingly, bit by bit.
Sometimes a single thought directs each word.
Each word helps me, the next line to refine
Sometimes words allow my thoughts to be heard
Does it matter which one directs each line?

Friday, February 8, 2013

I've been thinking since yesterday about a message that a friend of mine wrote on face book. It was only "I love you, Mom."
It made me think of my mom and how I wish I had told her more often how much I loved her. She passed away almost seven years ago. She died on 24, March on the anniversary of my wife's death three years before. I just got back from admitting my dad to the hospital with another bout of pneumonia. It makes you realize just how fragile life can be.
Actually saying "I love you" was something that my dad never did. He showed his love by doing things for us and with us.
When I visit him I always tell him, "I love you, Dad." and recently he has said "Love you." back to me. With Valentine's day so near, I thought it would be appropriate to say something about love.

Dear Mom,
Just a note to let you know
It's been almost seven years
Since I said, "I love you so."
Through times of laughter and tears;
Through times of sickness and health;
You gave us what we needed.
Humor and love was your wealth,
But stood firm when not heeded.

Alzheimer's dulled your sharp brain.
It hurt me to see you that way.
I know when we meet again
It will be a brand new day.
When I can say, "I love you!"
All throughout those endless days.
Ev'ry day will be brand new.
Thank you for your selfless ways.
Thank you Mom for all you've done.
Thank you for your love and care.
This comes from a grateful son,
Mom you were without compare.
           I LOVE YOU!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I am getting older and it is taking longer to rebound. My coccyx is sore. Some movements and sometimes the way I sit intensifies it. I've still been keeping up with my chores; hauling in the wood for my wood burner, hauling out the ashes, shoveling snow. It just takes longer. I like to read and write. These activities, I hope, will allow me to heal more rapidly. I started to write this last night and finished this morning.

I hear waves in their steady rush
As they roll against the shore.
Evening settles in a hush.
Winter's night descends crisp and pure.
The shining stars fill the dark sky'
Sparkling with a bright twinkling light.
Geese in their "V" formation fly,
Honking above in the inked sky.
Snow starts to fall with swishing sound.
It drops faster and things once bare
Are now standing and white snow crowned.
I write these thoughts so I can share.
Everything I feel, touch. or hear.
No one shares this beauty but me.
I am alone with no one near
Storing them in my memory.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It may be cabin fever, but I am feeling weary this morning. I'm not actually tired, but perhaps only tired of the snow. It falls and I shovel and I fall too. I was thinking of how comical I must have looked to someone watching me fall.
When I fell, I didn't have time to think and react to keep myself from harm, but did try my best to save my daughter's chocolate cake. I tried to recreate in rhyme that scenario. I hope you enjoy it more than I did the fall.

Did you ever fall and feel like a fool,
Whether at home, at work, or at school?
My walk was covered with fluffy snow.
I was treading so careful and slow
When one foot slipped out from under me.
That I'd be hurt wasn't a worry,
It happened so fast, for goodness sake.
I was holding a chocolate cake.
I fell on my fanny, that's for sure,
Into that snow, new-fallen and pure.
I jammed my arm and rolled to my side,
"Must save the cake!" I silently cried.
In slow motion, it slipped from my hand.
It slid along as if I had planned.
I am thinking , "It's going to tumble
Leaving only a chocolate crumble!"
It's now beyond my control to save,
When like a surf board riding a wave,
The plate scooted along in one piece.
It stayed upright, pretty as you please.
All that's left of my jarring event
Are aches and pains of a bruised old gent.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I have been thinking (I know that is a scary thought) about this winter's wild temperature changes. It has been unusual and frustrating at times. It seems different than other winters than I can recall.
It has NOT been enough to make me swallow the Kool Aid of Al Gore and other alarmists about climate change. I am not gullible enough to think that puny men can change the climate. That is in God's hands alone. I think this "carbon tax and carbon credits" is just another way for the many governments of the world to take the taxpayers' money and to have more control over our lives.
Going green has some admirable qualities, but more and more, green energy is failing and more and more "fossil fuels" are being discovered and generated.
It seems the government of the United States is trying to strangle its people by limiting the mining, drilling, and even by halting new nuclear capabilities to produce energy and starve us economically with higher prices, more taxes, and inferior quality of health care.
Enough of my soapbox stance.

This winter's weather has been like a roller coaster ride,
Coldness interspersed with warmth; the variables are wide.
The snow blows in, the sun comes out and melts the snow away,
Yet it seems the snow comes fiercely back the very next day.

Or is it like a carousel; its cycles turn and turn.
Brief intervals of sun appear, but for the Spring I yearn.
I would trade the ups and downs of the sunshine and the freeze
For the extended periods of rain, sunlight, and breeze.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Yesterday my bumbling ways continued. I was helping my daughter by carrying a cake that she had baked out to her car. She had made it to serve to her Sunday school class. I had done a sweep of the walk and the driveway earlier, but the snow had continued to fall . There was a light skiff of snow covering the walk.
I came to an area of the path that sloped downward slightly and.... my feet are not as sure footed as a mountain goat and my one foot slipped.
The first part of the fall moved in rapidity. One foot and leg kicked up high enough to impress a New York Rockette. I felt myself falling and my buttocks were the first to hit the snow covered grass beside the stone walkway. The fall jammed my elbow and scraped it.
Now my fall goes into slow motion as the reality sets in. "The cake!" In my mind's eye, I can see this chocolate cake tumbling, crumbled and dark mingling with the white snow.
I do my best to hold onto the cake plate and the aluminum dome that covered it. I rolled over toward the cake hand side trying maintain control of my daughter's precious burden. I watch horrified, as it slips from my fingers.
My hand is already in the snow and the plate becomes a toboggan. It slides across the snow. The one edge begins to form a wake of snow. It slows the cake and partially buries the aluminum cover. I am thinking, "The cake is going to slide off the plate!" or "The cake will overturn!" I think the fact that saved the cake was my hand was in the snow and it slid out supported by the snow and didn't actually fall.
Neither happened. I retrieved the cake and placed it in my daughter's vehicle.
Brushing the snow off of myself, I headed back into the house to get warm. I didn't go to church. I stayed at home nursing my bruised ego and my bruised fanny.
The fall scraped and jammed my elbow, bruised my tail bone, jammed my shoulder, and jarred my arthritic neck. I am sore today and my tailbone reminds me to wear ribbed boots when I go outside even for a few seconds.
Now I can't go to the hospital for at least a year. One of the questions they will ask, "Have you fallen in the past year?" If I answer "Yes." they will put me on a fall watch. I would have to wear those red slippers and an extra wrist band that will make me a marked man. I don't want to lie, but I may be forced to do so should I be admitted.
No rhymes today, only the story of "The Fall of Kind Man."

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I've been thinking on the more simple pleasures in life. The facts that family, home, and friends mean so much and yet I often take it all for granted, just like God in my life. That thinking put me onto the tracks that pulled my mind to the "Plain Folk," the Amish.

The Amish are folk who call themselves plain.
Hard working and the proud things they disdain..
Black buggies drawn by chestnut horse.
Reins tightly held to steer a true course.
Men wear yellow straw and black felt hats,
Girls in their bonnets, hair in long plaits.
Breakfast comes early, the chores need done.
Out to work before the rising sun.
They use hands and pails to milk their cows,
Working the fields with their horse drawn plows.
They gather their crops to fill the barns
While women make quilts and knit with yarns.
Horse drawn wagon piled high with fresh hay.
Out in the yard children laugh and play.
Men folk gather when dinner bell rings.
Sip cold lemonade on the backyard swings.
From the smokehouse comes hams sliced thick.
Bread from the oven, the grace's said quick.
Vegetables from the cold cellar's store;
Jams, jellies, and relishes galore.
Egg noodles, gravy, chickens baked brown;
Cold buttermilk to wash it all down.
Desserts are served; cookies, cakes, and pies.
Men leaning back with satisfied sighs.
Back to work until the skies grow dark
Then off to sleep in rooms plain and stark.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A remarkable day yesterday. I woke with leg and feet pain, but thought I would tackle the postponed job of replacing the shelf under the bathroom vanity. I knew it would be a tack, but morphed into a bigger job.
Taking the old shelf out was a task because of the material from which it was made. Then when I was replacing the shelf, I bumped the J trap and because it had corroded over the years, the pipe split. I am glad it happened then or I would have had to do it after my new shef was in place. The pipe was so corroded, it didn't want to come out and had to be puld into pieces with a pair of pliers.
During my repair marathon, I felt shakey and my blood sugar was 73. I don't tolerate under 100 very well. I popped in 2 pieces of candy and rested for a few minutes.
Later my daughter called me down stairs. I looked out the window and saww billowing smoke and soot in the air. I found that my chimney was on fire. She called 911 and I dischrged a small fire extinguisher into an access hole of the chimney. The extinguisher helped. The firemen came and finished the job.
I want to thank the volunteer fire companies of Bulskin township and the Saltlick township for their quick response and their help,
There was no damage to the house, but I am not sure about the chimney. All in all I am thankful for the blessings of God tucked in amid the problems. Things could have been so much worse. Instead I still have a warm, dry house.

Friday, February 1, 2013


There is a time to every purpose and a time for everything.
So says the book of Ecclesiastes, in words of the "preacher's" writing.
God made everything and everything's beautiful in its own time.
Whatsoever He doeth, it shall be forever, a thought so sublime.
There is a time that is right to laugh and there is a time for us to weep.
There is a time for tongues to speak and a time for tongues their silence to keep.
There is a time appointed to die and there's also a time to be born.
There is a time that is proper to dance. There is a time fitting to mourn.
There is a time when we must go to war and a time for us to make peace.
There is a time it is right to hate and a time for love, when hate will cease.
There is a time to for us to get and there will come a time for us to lose.
There is a time to cast things away and there is a time to keep and choose.
There is a time when things are broken down and a time to build up and mend.
There is a time for people to sew and there is a time when they should rend.
There is a time to bund wounds and heal and there is a time proper to slay.
There is time to gather stones together and a time to cast them away.

Ecclesiastes has said it all. I just made it rhyme.